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Rural by Nature

The Mississippi River floods in April and May 2011 were among the largest and most damaging recorded along the U.S. waterway in the past century. The City of Dyersburg, TN, located 79 miles northeast of Memphis, was hit particularly hard with most of the flooding occurring in the community of South Town, one of the most economically challenged areas of the city. Nearly 75 homes and businesses were affected and over $4 million in damage occurred to the city’s sewer system.

In 2015, the State of Tennessee coordinated a comprehensive grant application, called “Rural by Nature,” that looked to create resilient rural communities in West Tennessee. Seeking FEMA funding left over from hurricane Sandy, the grant projects were specifically chosen to proactively minimize loss from future flooding and related natural occurrences while also helping to create communities that can successfully manage other disasters and build their economy on their assets.

The City of Dyersburg had two projects that were included and ultimately funded by Rural by Nature: Dyersburg Wetland and Recreation Projects and Dyersburg Sewer Rehabilitation. The City of Dyersburg engaged SSR to provide engineering design and consulting oversight for both projects. SSR also provided services to fulfill the metrics monitoring commitment of the grant funds, including quarterly updates after the project was completed.

Learn more about two of the Dyer County Wetland and Recreation Fields projects here: Precinct Park and Forked Deer River Park & Ragan Levee Greenway

Tiffany Heard

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